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A verse may find him whom a sermon flies.


The volume herewith presented is the natural result of the compiler's habit of transferring and classifying significant passages from known authors. No special course of reading has been pursued, the thoughts being culled from fore and native tongues -- from the moss-grown tomes of ancient literature and the verdant fields of today. The terse periods of others, appropriately quoted, become in a degree our own; and a just estimation is very nearly allied to originality, or, as the author of Vanity Fair tells us, “ Next to excellence is the appreciation of it." Without indorsing the idea of a modern authority that the multiplicity of facts and writings is becoming so great that every available book must soon be composed of extracts only, still it is believed that such a volume as “ Pearls of Thought” will serve the interest of general literature, and especially stimulate the mind of the thoughtful reader to further research. The pleasant duty of the compiler has been to follow the expressive idea of Colton, and he has made the same use of books as a bee does of flowers, - she steals the sweets from them, but does not injure them. To the observant reader

familiar quotations will naturally occur, the absence of which may seem a singular omission in such a connection and classification, but doubtless such excerpts will be found in the “Treasury of Thought,” a much more extended work by the same author, to which this volume is properly a supplement. Of course care has been taken not to repeat any portion of the previous collection.


M. M. B.



Ability.- Natural abilities can almost compensate for the want of every kind of cultivation, but no cultivation of the mind can make up for the want of natural abilities. — Schopenhaufer.

Words must be fitted to a man's mouth, - 't was well said of the fellow that was to make a speech for my Lord Mayor, when he desired to take measure of his lordship's mouth. Selden.

Absence.- Absence in love is like water upon fire; a little quickens, but much extinguishes it. Hannah More.

Absence from those we love is self from self! A deadly banishment. - Shakespeare.

Short retirement urges sweet return. - Milton.

Whatever is genuine in social relations endures despite of time, error, absence, and destiny; and that which has no inherent vitality had better die at

A great poet has truly declared that constancy is no virtue, but a fact. — Tuckerman.

Frozen by distance. Wordsworth. Short absence quickens love, long absence kills it. - Mirabeau.

We often wish most for our friends when they are absent. Even in married life love is not diminished by distance. A man, like a burning-glass, should be placed at a certain distance from the object he wishes


to dissolve, in order that the proper focus may be obtained. - Richter.

Abstinence.- – Refrain to-night, and that shall lend a hand of easiness to the next abstinence; the next more easy; for use almost can change the stamp of nature, and either curb the devil, or throw him out with wondrous potency. — Shukespeare.

A buse.- Abuse is not so dangerous when there is no vehicle of wit or delicacy, no subtle convey.

The difference between coarse and refined abuse is as the difference between being bruised by a club and wounded by a poisoned arrow. - John



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Accident. What reason, like the careful ant, draws laboriously together, the wind of accident collects in one brief moment. Schiller.

What men call accident is God's own part. — P.J. Bailey.

Acquirements. -Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks: he who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other. – Metastasio.

Action. Action can have no effect upon reasonable minds. It may augment noise, but it never can enforce argument. If you speak to a dog, you use action; you hold up your hand thus, because he is a brute; an proportion as men are removed from brutes, action will have the less influence upon them. - Johnson.

Heaven ne'er helps the man who will not act. Sophocles.

When Demosthenes was asked what was the first part of an orator, what the second, and what the third ? he answered, “ Action.” The same may I say. If any should ask me what is the first, the second, the third part of a Christian, I must answer, " Action.”- T. Brooks.

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